Cades Steam powered Dragline Main Canal
The Fellsmere Water Control District
The Fellsmere Water Control District was created in April 8, 1919 under the General Drainage laws of the State of Florida, by a Circuit Court proceeding (St. Lucie County) April 8, 1919 (Case no. Red 533) and is currently operated under Chapter 298 Florida Statutes and amendments thereto as a Independent Single Purpose Special District.
FWCD is a Drainage District incorporated and created under Chapter 6458 of the Laws of the State of Florida by decree of the Circuit Court of St. Lucie County, Florida dated April 8, 1919…..
- Prior to April 8, 1919 Fellsmere Farms Land Sales Company was formed by an investment group consisting of George T. Ordway, Edward G. Maroney and T.F. Sherwood with $2,000,000 in capital stock. The following named persons would be officers who conducted the business of the Company:
- Oscar T. Crosby, President
- E. Nelson Fell, Vice President
- Thomas F. Sherwood, Secretary/Treasurer
- This group designed the drainage system for 118,000 acres of land that stood in water from 3” to 3’ during the wet season. The drainage was done by digging a single canal to the north fork of the Sebastian River that would drain to tide to the Indian River Lagoon. The Seminole Indians advised this group that they were attempting to drain more land than they thought to the lagoon. In actuality they were draining 456 square miles instead of 118,000 acres. In 1915 and 1917 the Indian prediction came true from storms and a low pressure area dumping large amounts of rain into the basin where the District was being built. This resulted in the flooding of Fellsmere and the destruction of the City of Broadmoor.
- This caused the corporation to go into default in 1918 and Fellsmere Water Control District was formed to take over the drainage plan. The area was reduced in size from 118,000 to 50,000 acres.
- Under today's permitting procedures Fellsmere Farms Company would have never been able to get the permits to drain the wetlands and swamps creating the Fellsmere Area and Fellsmere Water Control District.